Tonkon Torp's appellate lawyers are skilled advocates with a proven track record representing clients in federal and state appellate courts. Our appellate lawyers have a broad range of subject matter expertise, in-depth knowledge of appellate court procedures, and personal experience with the appellate judges of the courts in which we appear.

We’ve represented clients in the following courts:
  • The U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals (including the Ninth and Federal Circuits)
  • Oregon Supreme Court
  • Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Washington appellate courts
  • California appellate courts
Our cases run the gamut of civil litigation, from bankruptcy, to land use, to administrative appeals. Our appellate lawyers blend top-level strategic analysis and fresh perspective with superb written and oral advocacy skills.

Tonkon Torp’s appellate lawyers are experienced and familiar with every step of the appellate process, and we have deep experience doing the following:
  • Advising clients on the likelihood of success
  • Ensuring a complete appellate record
  • Using appellate motions practice to reduce costs to clients
  • Drafting concise and persuasive merits briefs
  • Delivering effective oral arguments
  • Preparing and responding to petitions for higher review

Tonkon Torp Helps to Clear Path for Building Mosque, Other Religious Facilities

Tonkon Torp appellate attorney Bob Koch recently won a favorable ruling from the Oregon Court of Appeals that allows for Masjid Ibrahim, a local mosque, to be built in the Bethany area of Multnomah County. The court’s ruling is also an important victory for all proposed places of worship throughout Oregon.

Robert Koch Wins Pro Bono Appeal at Oregon Supreme Court

Tonkon Torp attorney Robert Koch, Chair of the firm’s Appellate Practice Group, won a family law appeal in the Oregon Supreme Court involving a child custody dispute for his client.

Tonkon Torp Victorious at Oregon Court of Appeals on Behalf of Con-way

In May 2019, Tonkon Torp celebrated a complete appellate victory for its client, Con-way, with a decisive win in the Oregon Court of Appeals. The appeal affirmed a 2014 judgment that settled the question of who bore responsibility for a portion of defense and indemnity costs associated with three Superfund sites, including the Portland Harbor, and more than 1,500 asbestos lawsuits.

Tonkon Torp Wins Appellate Victory in Auto Insurer Case

Tonkon Torp recently achieved a complete appellate win on behalf of its client, Leif Hansen, in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2018, Tonkon Torp attorneys Steve Olson, Paul Conable, and Meg Houlihan represented Hansen individually and in a proposed class action against his auto insurer, GEICO, for refusing to pay for digital scans of his truck as part of the truck’s repair following a collision. Hansen sued for breach of contract under his insurance policy and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The federal district court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim. That dismissal prompted an appeal to the Ninth Circuit, which was led by Bob Koch and Meg Houlihan.

Tonkon Torp Wins Dismissal of RICO Claims Attacking Cannabis Industry – First of its Kind in 9th Circuit

Tonkon Torp secured a dismissal of civil RICO claims filed in federal court based on defendants' involvement in an Oregon Medical Marijuana Program grow operation. Four civil RICO cases have been filed this year in Oregon against nearly 300 businesses and individuals engaged in state-authorized cannabis activity.

Tonkon Torp Wins Appellate Victory in Lake Oswego Access Dispute

Tonkon Torp litigators won a remarkable victory at the Oregon Court of Appeals in the ongoing high-profile dispute regarding public access to Oswego Lake. Here are the details.

Ninth Circuit Victory Assures Electricity Rate Stability

Representing Portland General Electric (PGE), Tonkon Torp appellate lawyers successfully argued for the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to uphold a settlement by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). Find details and more featured cases here.

Administrative Law/Insurance Rate-Setting

Represented a health insurance provider in a rate dispute filed by a consumer. The Oregon Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, allowing the rates to stand. (Oregon Court of Appeals)

Administrative Law/Water Law

Represented a hydroelectric developer in a citizen dispute regarding a proposed hydroelectric project on an existing dam. The Oregon Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the Water Resources Department, allowing the project to go forward. (Oregon Court of Appeals)

Americans With Disabilities Act

Represented Georgia-Pacific in an appeal establishing standards for when a return to work performance test constitutes a medical examination subject to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals)

Antitrust Law

Represented a doctor in a case in which the jury found that our client's hospital privileges were revoked as a result of an unlawful conspiracy and monopolization. The U.S. Supreme Court held that defendants' actions were not immune from antitrust liability under the state action doctrine. (Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. Supreme Court)


Represented a law firm in a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding, including two appeals filed by a creditor. (USDC District of Oregon, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals)


Represented a bankruptcy trustee in litigation to determine who owns certain stock that previously belonged to the debtor. (Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel)

Civil Rights/First Amendment

Represent the plaintiffs in Moss vs. U.S. Secret Service, a civil rights case arising out of the demonstrations in southern Oregon during President Bush's 2004 campaign visit. (Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals)

Class Action/Employment Law

Represented the nation's largest veterinary chain in a wage and hour class action in federal court in California, including substantial motions practice. (USDC Central District of California)

Constitutional Law

Defended attacks by the American Trucking Associations against Oregon's heavy truck tax system. The Oregon Supreme Court held that the tax did not violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. (Oregon Court of Appeals, Oregon Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court)

Consumer Claim Against Auto Insurer

Complete appellate win for client engaged in an individual and class action lawsuit against GEICO, a national auto insurer. Ruling reverses district court decision to dismiss claims for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. (Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals)

Consumer Law

Represented an individual consumer in a successful lawsuit against a large credit card company for unlawful practices under the Fair Credit Billing Act and Unlawful Debt Collection Practices Act. (Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals)

Criminal Law

Represented the defendants in a criminal environmental enforcement action related to an alleged release of hazardous material. (Oregon Court of Appeals)

Disability Discrimination

Represented an employer in a disability discrimination case in which the plaintiff asserted that Oregon employers must accommodate medical marijuana use. As a matter of first impression, the Oregon Supreme Court held that Oregon law takes into account mitigating measures to decide whether an employee is disabled and entitled to disability protection. (Oregon Supreme Court)

Discrimination Case

Represented NIKE in a discrimination case, in which the jury returned a verdict in NIKE's favor and the Ninth Circuit affirmed.  (Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals)

Employment Law

Represented Asante in an employment dispute involving the Oregon reinstatement and reemployment statutes. Prevailed on the correct interpretation of the statutes, including in the Oregon Supreme Court, ultimately resulting in the dismissal of the two main claims in the case. (Oregon Court of Appeals, Oregon Supreme Court)

Employment Law

Obtained affirmance of a summary judgment decision holding that a bakery's compensation system for a class of route sales drivers provided the reasonable equivalent of overtime and was therefore exempt from Washington's overtime laws. (Washington Court of Appeals, Washington Supreme Court)

Guydish v. U.S. Bakery

(King County, WA Superior Court/Washington Court of Appeals) – Defended successfully, in trial court and on appeal, a class action seeking unpaid overtime on behalf of route sales persons for a regional company.

Land Use

Represented a large industrial landowner in a series of appeals successfully challenging the City of Portland's North Reach River Plan ordinance as failing to comply with Oregon's statewide land use planning goals and the City's own comprehensive plan. (Land Use Board of Appeals, Oregon Court of Appeals, Oregon Supreme Court)

Legal Malpractice

Represent a bankruptcy trustee in a lawsuit against the debtor's former legal counsel. (Oregon Court of Appeals)

Measure 49 Appeal

Obtained decision from Oregon Court of Appeals approving construction of an additional homesite on client's property under Ballot Measure 49, overturning state agency and County trial court which had ruled against client. 

Non-Profit/Employment Law

Successfully represented a non-profit community orchestra against the Oregon Employment Department in dispute over independent contractor status of musicians. (Oregon Court of Appeals)

Patent Infringement

Represent Apeldyn Corporation in patent infringement litigation against Sony, Samsung, AU Optronics, and Chi Mei Optoelectronics. The lawsuits are for infringement of Apeldyn's patents related to the fast response liquid crystal systems used in flat panel screens. (Federal Circuit Court of Appeals)


Successfully pursued Oregon Health & Science University’s right to recover a proportionate share of approximately $25 million, including interest, received by the state from the 1999 demutualization of Standard Insurance Company. (Marion County Circuit Court/Oregon Court of Appeals)

Public Records

Represent the ACLU of Oregon in an appeal under Oregon’s Public Records Law. The ACLU is seeking records concerning a Eugene Police Department investigation on public interest grounds. (Oregon Court of Appeals)

Real Property Law

Obtained reversal of trial court's decision on one issue (adverse possession) and reversal of Court of Appeals' decision on another issue (accretion) to obtain a complete victory for client real estate investor. This real property dispute involved a significant parcel of land on the Oregon coast. The case turned on complex accretion issues, a 150-year deed record, and alleged adverse possession of vacant land. (Oregon Supreme Court)

Tax Litigation

Represent Crystal Communications, Inc. in a dispute with the Oregon Department of Revenue. At issue is whether a Florida-domiciled S corporation's $48 million gain on the sale of an FCC license in Oregon is subject to apportioned taxation as business income in Oregon. (Oregon Supreme Court)

Tort/First Amendment

Represented the plaintiffs in Obsidian v. Cox, a defamation case against an Internet blogger that received national attention from media, bloggers, and constitutional scholars. The case involved the difficult balance between First Amendment speech and press protections and state defamation laws in the Internet age. (Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals)

Walker v. Metro One

(Multnomah County Circuit Court/Oregon Court of Appeals) – Obtained damages for an investor at trial for breach of convertible promissory note where company had refused to issue shares; successfully defended appeal.

Ninth Circuit Case Notes

Loan Servicer Accessing Credit Reports Does Not Violate FCRA Despite Bankruptcy Discharge Marino v. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, 978 F.3d 669 (2020) In another loss for plaintiffs and attorneys seeking relief under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA…
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Ninth Circuit Allows Broader Exculpation Clauses

The Ninth Circuit has generally prohibited nonconsensual third-party releases in bankruptcy reorganization plans for a long time. Section 524(e) provides that “discharge of a debt of the debtor does not affect the liability of any other entity on, or…
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Pride Q&A – An Interview with Robert Koch

In honor of Pride month, Jeff Block and Jeremy Tiedeman sat down with Bob Koch and talked about his work for equality and how he stays connected to the community.
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Anna Sortun Joins Oregon Humanities Board of Directors

Tonkon Torp litigation partner Anna Sortun has been elected to the Board of Directors of Oregon Humanities. Oregon Humanities was established in 1971 and works to connect Oregonians to ideas that change lives and transform communities through…
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Robert Koch Elected Chair-Elect of OSB Constitutional Law Section

Tonkon Torp attorney Robert Koch has been elected Chair-Elect of the Oregon State Bar (OSB) Constitutional Law Section and appointed as Chair of its CLE subcommittee. He was first appointed to the section in 2020.
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Tonkon Torp Litigators Share Expertise in Oregon Civil Pleading and Litigation Publication

Tonkon Torp litigators have contributed their expertise to a new treatise on civil litigation practice, Oregon Civil Pleading and Litigation.
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Anna Sortun Appointed to Executive Committee of OSB Litigation Section

Tonkon Torp litigation Partner Anna Sortun has been appointed to the Executive Committee of the Oregon State Bar (OSB) Litigation Section. Her term begins January 1, 2021.
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Bob Koch Moderates Annual U.S. Supreme Court Review/Preview for OSB

On November 13, Tonkon Torp attorney Bob Koch moderated the Annual United States Supreme Court Review/Preview hosted by the Oregon State Bar's Constitutional Law Section. The program featured guest speaker Professor Pamela Karlan, one of the nation’s…
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Bob Koch and Sadie Concepción Share Pro Bono Opportunities on MBA Panel

Attorneys Bob Koch and Sadie Concepción were featured panelists on a June 24 webinar hosted by the Multnomah Bar Association. The program, moderated by US District Magistrate Judge Stacie F. Beckerman, offered a variety of perspectives and options…
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Anna Sortun and Ryan Bledsoe Admitted to International Society of Barristers

Tonkon Torp litigation partners Anna Sortun and Ryan Bledsoe have been admitted as Fellows to the International Society of Barristers. The organization is an honor society that maintains a worldwide membership of less than 750 trial lawyers deemed by…
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Robert Koch Represents the District of Oregon to the Ninth Circuit Conference of Chief District Judges

Tonkon Torp attorney Robert Koch recently represented the District of Oregon at the Ninth Circuit’s Conference of Chief District Judges held in San Diego, CA. The Conference of Chief District Judges brings together the chief judges of the 15 judicial…
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Robert Koch Appointed to Two OSB Section Executive Committees

Tonkon Torp attorney Robert Koch has been appointed to the Executive Committees of the Oregon State Bar (OSB) Appellate Practice and Constitutional Law Sections. The OSB Appellate Practice Section serves state and federal appellate practitioners in…
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